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Geography of Michigan

Located in the eastern north-central United States, Michigan has a continental climate. The state is also prone to tornadoes and thunderstorms.
General Features
Michigan is a state located in the eastern north-central United States. The state is divided into two areas: the upper peninsula and the lower peninsula. The upper peninsula is bordered by Lake Superior on the north, by Wisconsin on the west and on the south by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The lower peninsula is bordered on the west by Lake Michigan and on the east by Lake Huron and Lake Erie. On the south it borders Indiana and Ohio. The geographic center of the state is in Wexford County. The landscape of Michigan comprises the Superior Upland and the Great Lakes Plains.

Superior Upland: The western area of the Upper Peninsula, where the terrain becomes more rugged, is referred to as the Superior Upland. The region runs along Lake Superior and into the Porcupine Mountains in northwestern Michigan. Mount Arvon, the highest point in Michigan, is found on the Upper Peninsula.

The Great Lakes Plains: The region stretches along the Great Lakes, from Michigan and Wisconsin to Ohio. The Lower Peninsula lies in this region. Lake Erie, the lowest point in Michigan is found in the Lower Peninsula.

Area 96,810 square miles
Land Area 56,809 square miles
Water Area 40,001 square miles
Highest Point Mount Arvon (603 meters)
Lowest Point Lake Erie (174 meters)
Mean elevation 900 feet above sea-level
Geographic Center Wexford County
Climate
Michigan is characterized by a continental climate. The southern region in the Lower Peninsula has a warmer climate with hot summers and cold winters, while the northern part of Lower Peninsula has a more severe climate with warm summers and very cold winters. The highest temperature recorded in Michigan is 44°C at Mio on July 13, 1936. The state registered the lowest temperature of -46°C on February 9, 1934 at Vanderbilt. Michigan is prone to severe weather conditions and thunderstorms, tornadoes are common in some areas. An average of seventeen tornadoes occur every year in the extreme southern portion of the state.

MountainsMount Arvon is the highest mountain peak in the state and also the highest point. It is 1,979 feet above sea level. The other mountains found in Michigan are:
  • Mount Arvon
  • Crystal Mountain
  • Boyne Mountain
  • Black Mountain
  • Mount Curwood
  • Porcupine Mountains
  • Marquette Mountain
  • Mount Bohemia
Lakes
The state has numerous lakes in both the peninsulas. Lake Michigan is the second-largest of the Great Lakes by volume. The other major lakes are:
  • Lake Erie
  • Lake St. Clair
Rivers
Michigan has over three hundred rivers. The major rivers are:
  • Detroit River
  • Grand River
  • Kalamazoo River
  • St. Clair River
  • St. Marys River
  • Baldwin River
  • Baltimore River
  • Crystal River
Islands
The state is home to a number of large islands. The principal ones are:
  • North Manitou and South Manitou, Beaver, and Fox groups in Lake Michigan
  • Isle Royale and Grande Isle in Lake Superior
  • Marquette, Bois Blanc, and Mackinac islands in Lake Huron
  • Neebish, Sugar, and Drummond islands in St. Mary's River

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